Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Old Apartment

A friend of mine, when apartment hunting in her early 20's, went on and on about the importance of the kitchen in a home.  She'd talk about the need for good size, sitting space, as well as counter space to cook.  She'd lament about how the kitchen was the heart of many houses, a place where feelings and bruises were healed over a cup of tea, a place for secrets shared, holiday meals and card games that went into the night. A place with a bad kitchen was a deal breaker for her.  Both of us being literature majors, we had many conversations focusing on wonderful scenes of fiction set in kitchens and she often talked about how amazing a series of short stories set in kitchens would be. As I was in my early twenties I had very little interest in the kitchen as "an experience" and attributed her fondness of kitchens to her being a hippy who consumed more brussel sprouts and beets than any other human I had known.  I just didn't get it.

The place I lived in when I met Chris was admittedly my worst apartment.  I lived there in the time period where I was most broke, most broken and most miserable - ah the mid twenties, I don't miss you for a second.

The apartment was small, old and had the tiniest galley kitchen imaginable with absolutely no preparatory or eating space. After I met Chris and we agreed to move in together, we compiled a list of things that were important to us in an apartment.  A sizable kitchen with a dish washer was on the top of his list.  We ended up moving into a great place in Toronto's Bloor West Village that had a large open-concept kitchen and living room for a low price.

babies on kitchen floor
Molly and Jack on our kitchen floor - 11 months old

This became the first apartment that felt like home and we spent our first five years together there.  I had my make-up done for our wedding at that kitchen table, we hashed out our first fights there, hosted Chris's late night studying and late night partying well into the morning.  We even signed the papers for our mortgage to the house we bought and brought Molly and Jack from the hospital to in that very kitchen on Jane Street.

Our current house also hosts a nicely sized kitchen.  When I was pregnant with the minions I became obsessed with getting the perfect table and right around the time the kids were born we settled on a farmers style rosewood table.  I envisioned this table being a place for family meals, board games, warm mugs of tea and story telling.  I didn't realize it at the time, but I was nesting.

Last year when Molly and Jack outgrew their high chairs (aka lunged out of them, stood up on them) we decided that it was time to get them their very own kiddy table and replaced the high chairs with their very own small table and chairs beside our own.  They liked their table for a little while and still use it regularly for snacks and creative endeavours, however, about six months ago Jack picked up his plate, walked over to the rosewood table and sat in the big chair on his knees so he could reach the table and eat with us.  I had totally negated the entire purpose of the family table because the chairs were "too big" for them to sit on.  I'd made the room in our house that was supposed to be about the heart of our home about function, but Jack found a way to circumvent and then taught his sister to do the same.

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